Common Samsung Galaxy S21 series problems and solutions

Even though Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S22 series has landed, the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra are still fantastic phones to own — but even the best handsets can experience problems, and there’s nothing more frustrating than bugs or issues that you just can’t figure out how to solve. If your Galaxy S21 isn’t functioning as expected and you’re close to tearing your hair out, don’t worry. We’ve gathered together some of the most common problems you might experience with the latest Galaxy phones and found simple fixes for them.

Want to find out more about the S21 range? Check out our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

Problem: Reduced camera performance and lag zooming or switching between modes

It seems like reduced camera performance was an issue for many Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra users out of the box, and for some users after a recent update — although the problem doesn’t seem to have affected everyone. Reports seem to indicate issues when switching between camera modes or zooming, with significant lag experienced by some users. Samsung confirmed the problem months after it was first reported.

Solution

A firmware update fixing the issue rolled out last June. Reports suggest camera performance has certainly improved following the update, which seems to have solved the issue for most users, although some are still reporting issues.

Problem: Battery life depletes faster than expected

With the Galaxy S21 sporting a 4,000mAh battery, a 4,800mAh battery on board the S21 Plus, and the Ultra packing a 5,000mAh battery, it seems like Samsung’s S21 series smartphones are prepared for anything the day can throw at them. But some users are reporting issues with the S21 battery draining faster than expected, particularly after a recent update. Most reports suggest that this is caused by the camera app draining the battery when the phone is idle — and Samsung has yet to provide a fix for the problem. You can check your battery’s status by going to Settings > Device maintenance > Battery and viewing the Battery Usage graph. Here, you’ll be able to see if your camera or any of your other apps are draining an abnormal amount of your battery.

Solution

Always check that you have the latest firmware installed on your phone, and try turning off location services via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Not surprisingly, many of the recommended battery fixes pertain to the screen. There are three settings you can change to help with battery life, and all of them are located in Settings. You’re welcome to adjust or not adjust these settings as you see fit. You may start with one setting, and if that doesn’t help, try the next, etc.

The three features are adaptive refresh rate, screen resolution, and Always On Display. Adaptive refresh rate allows your phone to refresh its screen at speeds of up to 120 times per second (Hz), which gives you smoother interactions when scrolling through menus. Screen resolution controls the number of pixels per inch (PPI) that your screen can use. The S21 Ultra can switch between WQHD+, FHD+, and HD+, the latter of which is more battery-friendly. Finally, there’s Always On Display, which will show you notifications and time even when your screen is off.

Step 1: Open Settings.

Step 2: Tap Display.

Step 3: Tap Motion smoothness.

Step 4: Select 60Hz refresh rate and tap Apply.

Step 5: While in the Display settings, tap Screen resolution.

Step 6: Adjust the slider to where you want it and tap Apply.

Step 7: Tap the Back arrow to get back to the main settings.

Step 8: Tap Lock screen.

Step 9: Tap the toggle next to Always on display.

Note: If you still find you are only getting a few hours of screen-on time from your new handset, you may also want to try clearing the cache. If this is still an issue, we’d recommend contacting Samsung for a repair or returning your phone for a replacement.

Problem: Galaxy S21 overheats when multitasking

Alarmingly, many users on the XDA developer forums and Samsung Forums have reported issues with the Galaxy S21 overheating while multitasking or downloading system updates. The issue seems to be cropping up even with light multitasking, such as watching a YouTube video while browsing the web. It initially looked like the issue may be 5G connectivity, but users are reporting the problem persists even with cellular data turned off.

Solution

Samsung released a fix for this last June, which also addresses the camera lag issue. This should resolve the issue, but if you find your phone is still overheating following the update, we recommend ensuring you don’t leave it plugged in and charging unattended or overnight. If you’re concerned, you could contact Samsung or consider returning your handset for a replacement.

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Problem: Galaxy S21 Ultra touchscreen doesn’t always register input

If you are having issues with the S21 Ultra touchscreen registering input — as some users have reported — it can be incredibly frustrating. Double or triple tapping to get the phone to respond can leave you wondering what’s going wrong — and users have reported issues with the fingerprint sensortoo